Meet the Genealogy Gophers

Did you know that there are thousands of digitized family histories, regional and local histories, genealogy magazines along with how-to books, gazetteers, newsletters, and medieval histories freely available online? Organizations like Project Gutenberg, FamilySearch, Internet Archive, Google Books and educational institutions have been hard at work for years. That’s both good news and bad news. While there are a lot of freely-accessible publications available, finding them can be a challenge. That’s where Genealogy Gophers comes in. The Gophers have built an amazing search engine that will not only find the publication, but find – and display – the information that matches your search. In the example below, I’m looking for information about my ancestor, John Lewis Gervais, in South Carolina.

Sample Search Results


Within seconds I had two pages of results with excerpts showing the information matching my search. Clicking the title will display a screen that includes source information for that publication along with a reader opened to the page where the information on my ancestor appears.

the reader screen

In this example, there is only one page referencing my ancestor. The orange pointer you see at the bottom of the reading window is a bookmark to that page. In publications where there are multiple results, you will see additional pointers. Click on a pointer to move to that page. There are also controls to navigate forward and backward in this book, enlarge or reduce the view and more. Notice the link at the top of the reader to download a PDF copy of the publication.

Genealogy Gophers is free if you don’t mind responding to a number of surveys. If you don’t like surveys, a $19.95/year subscription will remove them.


New Book on New Netherland Settlers

Are you having trouble finding the origins of your New Netherland ancestors? My new book in my New Netherland series is now available for purchase. New Netherland Settlers: Lodewyck Cornelis Post & His Wife Agnietje Bonen is the story of early settlers in New Netherland (New York)Sometime between October 1647 and July 1652, Lodewyck Cornelils Post,…

via My New Netherland Settlers Book for Post Descendants — Olive Tree Genealogy Blog

Georgias Roster of the Revolution cover

Ancestry Found

I was browsing Amazon to check out the latest genealogy books when I found these delicious jewels – the Ancestry Found collection of history and genealogy DVDs. There are currently 88 DVDs available. Each state has one, there are several British collections and a number of special interest DVDs too. The Georgia DVD contains 96 books including:

  • Georgia’s Roster of the Revolution, containing a list of the states defenders; officers and men; soldiers and sailors; partisans and regulars; whether enlisted from Georgia or settled in Georgia after the close of hostilities by the Georgia Dept of Archives – (1920) – 654 pages

  • Historical Collections of Georgia : containing the most interesting facts, traditions, biographical sketches, anecdotes, etc. relating to its history and antiquities, from its first settlement to the present time ; compiled from original records and official documents ; illustrated by nearly one hundred engravings of public buildings, relics of antiquity, historic localities, natural scenery, portraits of distinguished men, etc., etc. / by the Rev. George White – (1855) – 688 pages

  • History of Clinch County, Georgia, revised to date, giving the early history of the county down to the present time (1916): also complete lists of county officers, together with minor officers and also sketches of county officers’ lives; with chapters on the histories of old families of Clinch County; also other information as is historical in its nature, by Folks Huxford – (1916) – 306 pages

Each of the books and publications included in these DVDs is a scanned copy of the original saved in searchable PDF format. They can be viewed on any computer.

Most of the DVDs sell for $5.95 with a $3.99 shipping charge. There are some special collections and multi-disk sets costing more. For example, the 5-disc Civil War collection is $12.95.

All of the publications and books included in these CDs are now in the public domain and it’s very probable that you can find any of them online to download at no cost. It would be easy if we knew the title and author of each publication. Ancestry Found has done the hard work of finding and scanning these books so we can easily find what we need.

Digital Library of Georgia

The Digital Library of Georgia offers an impressive amount of Georgia history and culture in a growing collection of digitized books, photographs, manuscripts, newspapers, maps and government documents. Although the library is based at the University of Georgia, it is accessible from just about anywhere.

The Digital Library of Georgia isn’t a single entity. It’s a number of collections maintained by different agencies and organizations. Fortunately most of it is accessible through the online library. The Digital Library has a very nice section for Genealogical Resources. It links you to records in the Georgia Archives and provides lists – with links – to Georgia genealogical societies, Georgia GenWeb sites, the Georgia Historical Society and the genealogical section of the NARA’s Southeast Region facility in Atlanta. You’ll also find links to interesting collections and other Georgia repositories containing genealogical information.

Another fascinating place to visit is the New Georgia Encyclopedia. In the Georgia Web Resources section you will find links to the Georgia Newspapers Archive, Georgia Stories, the Historical Marker Index, Sanborn Maps (1884-1922) and Vanishing Georgia. You’ll also find a link to the treasure chest in Georgia’s Virtual Vault. The Vault contains Headright and Bounty Plats of Survey (1783-1909), Militia Enrollment Lists from 1864, Service Summary Cards from the Spanish-American War, Colonial Estate Records and much more.

The Digital Library of Georgia beautifully demonstrates how far you can go without leaving your desk.